February 29, 2024

In keeping with its vision of becoming a globally recognized university that upholds excellence amidst its rich cultural heritage, Ifugao State University (IFSU) launched the “Tanud di tinanudan (A gift to the generations): A celebration of resilience and continuity of the Ifugao heritage” on Nov. 6.

Spearheaded by the International Innovation Center for Indigenous Studies of the Research and Development Center for the Ifugao Rice Terraces as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (R&D Center for IRT-GIAHS), the event features a lineup of activities centered on harnessing technology for heritage conservation, digital safeguarding of heritage, and empowering women in heritage conservation.

The initiative aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 11, 5, and 10, emphasizing the importance of preserving cultural heritage, promoting gender equality, and reducing inequalities.

IFSU President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon said the activity series exemplifies IFSU’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting Ifugao’s heritage. By engaging students and the community in diverse activities, the university is ensuring the intergenerational transmission of Ifugao’s traditions and knowledge.

The first event in the lineup was the heritage weaving and fashion design lecture-workshop, where nine participants from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development, College of Health Sciences, and College of Education attended.

The activity aimed to encourage youth participation in heritage conservation efforts while capacitating them with possible livelihood activities in the future.

Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program alumna and Ifugao weaver Stephanie S. Ayahao shared her research titled “Inabol: The weaving culture of Ifugao.”

Ayahao’s presentation delved into the significance of weaving in safeguarding Ifugao’s heritage and preserving the essence of its culture. She explained the diverse applications of weaving materials and demonstrated fundamental weaving techniques.

The students were taught how to wind the threads (mun-pudun) and participated in the warping process. They were also given the opportunity to weave (mun-abol) as part of the return-demonstration. The participants designed and crafted their own weaves (inabol).

A lecture-workshop on photography and videography dubbed “Indigenous knowledge capture” was also held on Nov. 22 to 23.

This workshop aims to equip students with the skills to document the rich indigenous knowledge and traditions of Ifugao. Students shall learn how to use photography and videography to create compelling narratives that highlight the importance of preserving cultural heritage.

To further encourage creativity and engagement among students, contests were opened for heritage mobile photography, one-minute video on heritage, five-minute video on heritage, and poetry writing.

These contests provide students with a platform to showcase their talents and perspectives on Ifugao heritage. A heritage exhibit will be held to showcase the outputs from the heritage weaving and fashion design lecture-workshop, indigenous knowledge capture, poetry writing, among others. The winning entries will be recognized during the closing ceremonies at the Heritage Convention Center on Dec. 15. – Faith B. Napudo